Many people have dreams and aspirations. However so often these dreams aren’t realised. Your ideas fall at the first hurdle – money. Today I will showcase Go Fund Me – a fine example of crowdfunding, that has proved a great supporter of creativity, enabling people’s wildest dreams to come true…
To start, i’d like to begin with a brief look at the fundamental concepts of crowdfunding and its parent – crowdsourcing, of which you may already be aware of. Crowdsourcing is internet-based collaboration between a large community of people, each contributing towards a certain project contrived on the idea that crowds have greater wisdom, and thus the combined intelligence, strength or financial assets of many can attain much more. A well known example of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia, but today we are going to be looking at Go Fund Me – a prime example of crowdfunding.
So what is GoFundMe and what makes it better than other crowdfunding sites?
The basic principles of Go Fund Me are summed up in the short video below: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADrc7JSs_5s[/youtube] GoFundMe is a simple but effective tool. As you have seen in the video, setting up your own project is as easy as 1 2 3. Recently I looked at Kickstarter (which is a slightly bigger example of a crowdfunding site), but I was very disappointed with the categories in which users are allowed to submit projects. With Go Fund me you can kickstart your own business, which cannot be done directly with Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites. Whilst Kickstarter can be useful for independent film makers, it does not allow users to run charity projects, fund education, go on adventures, all of which GoFundMe allows. Indeed, looking at the categories – users can get funded for anything and everything! Some of the additional features Go Fund Me offers are:
- A ‘reward’ addon where you can offer rewards for donators depending on the size of their donation.
- The ability to customise (to an extent) the design of your funding page.
- No ‘time limits,’ your page can run for as long as you like and still continue to collect money.
- No funding minimum limit – GoFundMe lets you pull in all the money that is donated instantly whenever you want. The downside is they do take a 5% charge + normally about 3% transaction fees through PayPal, which is automatically done, so there is no need to get bogged down in red-tape!
- You can set goals, targets for funders to see.
- Facebook app functionality – Go Fund Me is heavily integrated with Facebook and you can set up projects through your Facebook account, as well as keeping donators up to date, perhaps by setting up a fan page.
- GoFundMe is designed to be shared across social networks – so don’t be surprised to see your page go viral!
After looking at different crowdfunding sites, I think GoFundMe is definitely the best. Although of cause different networks are targeted at different people – so at the end of the day you may have to decide for yourself. Here is a short list of some others you might like to consider:
Will my project get funded?
Surely this all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? – Nope! There is no hidden catch, if there was, GoFundMe would not have the status it has today! How hard is it to get funded? The idea with GoFundMe is for users to share their pages to friends and family via social networks. The user’s friends and family perhaps then back them, whilst also passing on the message to their friends. A smaller percentage of whom will donate and also pass on the message and so on. When I looked up at several reviews across the web, many people said that they raised money quickly but that the 5% charge was expensive. With GoFundMe’s policy of allowing users to withdraw the cash at any time, I do not think there is much chance of leaving empty handed! (If you have lots of friends!) Even if you do not fulfill your goal – you could withdraw what has been donated or allow the campaign to run on for a longer period of time. Crowdfunding sites also generate future support for other projects and further developments. If you keep donators updated, you’ll be sure to get further returns for your time!
If it is worth while, people will back it and support it.
Thats my view anyway! So to conclude then. With GoFundMe, people can easily get funding for their dreams, plus it boasts integrated Facebook functionality, lots of additional features that some of its biggest competitors don’t have. What are your thoughts? reply below!